Android accelerates convergence

There will be an installed base of 140 million Android portable devices, including smartphones and tablets, by the end of 2011, according to IMS Research forecasts. The market intelligence firm says the recent unveiling of Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system for tablets, along with enhancements to the Android Market website, will do much to enhance growth prospects for this segment.

“This provides an exciting opportunity for pay-TV operators, which have traditionally been tethered to the living room, to expand the reach of their brands to multiple portable platforms with apps development,” says Anna Hunt, principal analyst and author of the IMS Research’s Convergence in Home Entertainment report. “In total, Apple OS and Android OS were present in nearly 125 million connected devices shipped in 2010 and this is only expected to increase in 2011. Such reach into consumers’ hands means more operators will be developing apps that enable subscribers to purchase and consume content on new portable platforms and explore new convergence applications, such as controlling your on-demand service on the TV set via the smartphone.”

“Handset vendors are expected to make a number of smartphone announcements at Mobile World Congress, as well as demonstrate new tablet devices” stated Bill Morelli, research director for Mobile Technologies at IMS Research. “These devices are critical to the multi-screen strategies that mobile network operators and content providers are hoping will encourage widespread uptake by consumers.”

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